Dhumal's detractors anti-corruption morcha

Shimla: In an apparent move to embarrass Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, his detractors within the BJP on Wednesday announced formation of "Himachal Bhrashtachar Mukti Morcha" with an aim to fight corruption in the state.

Described as a "non-political" front against corruption, the Morcha is led by former BJP MP Maheshwar Singh, who said that the front had nothing to do with internal affairs of the BJP and also denied that it was an outfit of "Shanta Loyalists".

Former BJP Minister Mohinder Sofat, a staunch Shanta loyalist, has been appointed spokesperson of the Morcha.

The detractors of Dhumal had launched a similar outfit under the banner of Mitra Mandals in 2001 costing the BJP heavily in 2003 Assembly polls which saw the party being ousted from power.

Maheshwar Singh, a three time former MLA and four time MP, said the morcha would strengthen the Rath Yatra of senior party leader L K Advani against corruption.

With Assembly elections due next year in Himachal Pradesh, the Morcha's activities on the issue of corruption could dent the party's image, insiders in the party said.

Reacting to the new development, Dhumal described theformation of the Morcha as "unnecessary" and said it was an outfit of "defeated BJP leaders".